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November 2, 2009

Preferring anything above Christ is the very essence of sin.

John Piper

I got up very early this morning, happy to be home from our time in the mountains.  I usually get up early on Monday, my thoughts full of the upcoming school week.

Does this student understand my notes on his paper?  Are my kids ready for the vocab quiz?  Who isn’t understanding Hamlet right now?

After I spent some time thinking about school, I started thinking about my own family.

Is Jon-David going to have a good week?  Is Hannajean making more friends in her class?  Will Lucy and Andrew argue again this week, resulting in more emails and phone calls from the teacher?

I thought about Hugh as I settled on the couch with my Bible.

Why did Hugh stay up so late last night watching House?  Was he sad about his dad?  Should I have stayed up with him, even though I was tired?  Why did we argue right before bed?  Do I have time to resolve our conflict before school this morning?

Then I opened my Bible.   Not surprisingly, I couldn’t focus.

At all.

My job, my children, my health, my marriage…they already filled my heart and my head, leaving no room for quiet morning reflection on my Savior.

This is my daily struggle lately.  How do I turn off my brain, my worries, my to-do lists, and simply sit at His feet?  Why is it so hard?

I read this morning in my John Piper book that “preferring anything above Christ is the very essence of sin.”  I wonder if choosing to prefer to meditate on all the detritus of my life is… sin.

I have a choice when I wake up.  I can allow my brain to wander all over the place as I think about the hundreds of details of my small existence.  Or I can push back the thoughts and focus on Christ.

I’m desperate for this kind of morning.  I am tired of thinking, thinking, thinking about my small life.  I want to reflect and sit and wonder at Jesus when I wake up.

So tomorrow I will get up and try again.  When thoughts flood my mind, I’ll push them back and whisper…

“Not today.  Not yet.  This morning I’m going to spend thinking about Jesus.”

4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 2, 2009 5:21 pm

    I’m fairly new to your site and wondered about the physical problem. I also have RA, so I thought that might be it. Although I no longer deal with the responsibilities of a job or family at home, even in old age the stress factors pile up. Lately God has been dealing and dealing with me, trying to get me beyond sin-consciousness and into God-consciousness. I’m beginning to think the secret is giving up my guilt–and that I’ve just been too hard-headed to catch on all these years. God isn’t as hard on us as we are on ourselves. Jesus came to make our burden light. Is it possible that I don’t have to beat myself up over my failures–because that’s what He came to cover. And on those occasions when I do release them, I discover I can enter into His joy and His grace.

  2. Sumi permalink
    November 2, 2009 5:25 pm

    Perhaps…Thinking about all the details in your life isn’t the same thing as preferring those things over Jesus. It just means you have a lot on your mind, is all. If you had spent time with Amanda instead of with Jesus this morning, you’d probably have blurted those thoughts out to her, out loud.

    So…I’m thinking that when you (and I) are distracted by thoughts perhaps we can offer them up to God and just converse with him about them. Praise him for his faithfulness in those areas. (even where it isn’t all that apparent).

    I dunno…

    Sometimes I think my “quiet time” is just too quiet. It’s often when I start to talk to him, out loud, and praising him, that he turns up.

    Am I making sense?

  3. Sumi permalink
    November 2, 2009 5:26 pm

    Totally jealous about the trip to the mountains, by the way! That picture is gorgeous. Can you believe that I have never witnessed the Fall color spectacle?

  4. November 3, 2009 5:08 pm

    I soooooo needed to read that today, Jess. .

    You always say things to me at the right times – THANK YOU.

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